“YES” on Pompeo Amendment #37

This week, the House will vote on Pompeo Amendment #37 to the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill (H.R.5326). The amendment would eliminate the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which was established in 1965 as an element of President Johnson’s “Great Society” agenda.

Although the program purports to give financial aid to economically distressed areas, it is nothing more than a mask for political pet projects.  Essentially, the agency provides “grants” and “investments” for local projects, including private sector projects that should not be eligible for federal government’s help to begin with. Just as with earmarks, the EDA uses taxpayer dollars to target local projects with a very narrow benefit – in many cases just one particular company or small segment of population.

The Heritage Foundation has long advocated the elimination of the EDA, a position shared by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles committee because it would save $523 million a year. The program is expendable, in part, because many of the projects funded through the EDA already have access to state, local and private sector funding sources, making the federal government’s involvement unnecessary and wasteful.

Last year, Congress appropriately placed a moratorium on earmarks. They should continue the trend and eliminate the Economic Development Administration.

Heritage Action supports Pompeo Amendment #37 and will include it as a key vote on our scorecard. 

Related Links:
Heritage Action’s Scorecard
Heritage Action: Key Vote Alert: “NO” on Economic Development Revitalization Act (S. 782)
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